You’d Better Watch Out
Police department, sheriff’s office stepping up patrols New Year’s Eve
Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor

Dec. 29, 2006 - Local law enforcement agencies will be stepping up patrols this weekend in an effort to crack down on drunken driving and alcohol-related accidents.

"Like the signs out on the interstate say, if you drink and drive, you will go to jail if we catch you," said Hopkins County Chief Deputy Rickey Morgan, referring to the large billboard signs alongside Interstate 30.

The sheriff and city police chief have lined up additional officers for the increased effort, particularly on New Year's Eve.

"We'll be out in full force," Hopkins County Sheriff Butch Adams said Friday morning. "We'll have reserves, deputies,  our investigators. I'll be out and so will Chief Deputy Rickey Morgan. We'll be concentrating our focus on DWI. We'll be working with DPS [Texas Department of Public Safety] on it."

A reserve deputy will be paired with each patrol deputy from HCSO in a vehicle, providing each deputy with ready on each call.

Sulphur Springs Police Chief Jim Bayuk said Friday morning that there will be extra patrols inside the city, but unlike the sheriff's office, his officers won't be giving free rides home.

The sheriff's office will give courtesy escorts to those who call and ask for a ride home as an added incentive to prevent people from leaving New Year's Eve celebrations after drinking, 

"You can call and we'll take you home if you live in Hopkins County. If you drink and don't call and we stop you, we'll give you a ride, but not home. If you're stopped and found to be intoxicated we're going to take you to jail," Adams said. "It may take us a little time to get there if we're out on a call, but we will get there if you call and ask for a ride."

To request a courtesy escort inside Hopkins County on New Year's Eve, call the sheriff's office at 903-438-4040.

"We want to start the New Year off without any accidents, so we will be out in full force trying to stop drunk driving and hopefully accidents," the sheriff added.

Adams said that while the main focus of the increased patrols will be on preventing drunk driving, deputies will continue to take calls and will patrol the county as usual.

Sheriff's officers will also be keeping an especially close eye out for burglars due to the recent rise in burglaries in both the city and county.

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